After sinking our teeth into 12 mouthwateringly delectable courses, we finally arrived at Hannibal's "Savoureux" on Thursday. As promised, the NBC drama's Season 1 finale featured a face-off between Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen), but perhaps not in the way viewers had expected.
In Network television, the good guys are practically guaranteed to come out on top (on cable channels, not so much — just ask the Stark family), so Thursday's cliffhanger ending came as a shock. This isn't HBO, it's NBC, so why is Will the one stuck behind bars while Hannibal smirks from the outside? Because Hannibal is not afraid to take chances.
While Hannibal's first season was nowhere near perfect — I was often frustrated by the way it would stray from plot lines for episodes at a time while pursuing less interesting tangential stories (such as Franklin's thread) — it consistently pushed the boundaries of Network television, both in terms of style and substance. And ultimately, as we saw in the penultimate and finale episodes, all those frustrating loose ends were tied together — if not yet tied up — in a satisfying, fascinating way.
By the end of the finale, as we cut away from the chilling callback shot to The Silence of the Lambs, it's clear that Season 2 will be a whole different monster from Season 1. Will finally has control over his facilities once again, but now (in my least favorite trope) he will have to prove his sanity and innocence while the evidence stacked against him. Showrunner Bryan Fuller told E! News, "We saw the character as such a victim in the first season. Now Will Graham who has lost everything and has nothing left to lose is going to be a much scrappier, bolder main character in season two." Personally, I can't wait.
But while events came together nicely, that's not to say there were resolved. Looking ahead to Season 2, here are our lingering questions:
1. First and foremost, how much is known about Will's brain disease? It's clear that Alana discovered his brain swelling, but we don't yet know the full extent of its effect on Will.
2. What exactly is going on with Hannibal and his psychiatrist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson)? The two of them like to dance around the "attack" made on Dr. Du Maurier by a former patient, but things in that department seem sketchy. What precisely did she mean when she said her former patient "swallowed his tongue"? And this may be overreaching, but when Hannibal and Dr. Du Maurier discussed their "veal" dinner it seemed to me like she was hip to the fact that Hannibal favors more verboten cuts of meat.
3. Fuller tells E! News, "[Will] vomited up that ear. He was feeling nauseous and took his medicine and then couldn't keep it down, and then everything else in his stomach came up and that everything else was Abigail Hobbs' ear." So then, how did the ear get inside his stomach? Was Hannibal able to feed him during one of his episodes?
4. On that note, how often is Hannibal lurking around Will's home? We saw Hannibal futz with Will's lures once, but the FBI found lures for all five of the Copycat Killer's victims. Was Hannibal surreptitiously planting the lures during his house calls with Will, or was he lurking around more than the audience — or Will — knew?
5. What happened to Jack Crawford's wife? After the episode that focused on her cancer diagnoses we never saw her again. Is she okay? Is her marriage with Jack okay? I liked her, I'd like to see more of her.
6. Do we know what happened to the rest of Mirium Lass? Does Hannibal still have her body stashed somewhere, ready to trot out once again should that be necessary?
Any other questions Hannibal left unanswered? Sound off in the comments!